Unproductive Exercise: A New Trend!

Ten years ago this summer, I was in the best shape of my life. Sure I was a youngster at 28, but that wasn’t the reason why. For a couple years before that, I was a human balloon! Rounder and even more portly than I am today, and with my ten year class reunion on the horizon, I had decided it was time to trim down.

By the summer of 2007, my lifestyle changes were paying off. I regularly and rigorously exercised on my bicycles. I watched the portions at mealtime. I cut out junk-food like carbs and sugars. I had also drastically made adjustments to the calories I drank. It was a full-time commitment, and I even came close to sporting six-pack abs!

After lots of practice, I could easily pedal the 14 miles to Richmond and back right after work on a Friday night. I was fast on those two wheels and would make it home in plenty of time for the poker party in my garage. I’d then settle in for a long night of carousing with a bunch of golden tinted glasses of scotch and water and a several satisfying menthol cigarettes… Ahhh, those were my healthy days!

Funny isn’t it. I made it such a big priority to eat right and exercise, yet I couldn’t have tried harder to feast on my addictions and pollute the same body I was trying to transform! It should have been a good thing, that I was on the bike enough that I could ride for a quarter mile at a time no-handed.  The problem was, I learned that trick while lighting my cigarettes and putting the Bic and the box safely back into my fanny pack, without ever stopping or slowing down.

It’s been ten years since then. Eight since I last smoked a Marlboro. Over five since I last drank the Scotch. That was over 40lbs ago too.

My 20 year class reunion will be in the fall. I haven’t been nearly as anxious about this milestone as the first decade though.

I still live in a serious constant imbalance. My 28 year-old-self would be surprised and proud to know now about my amazing wife and two darling daughters. There are have been too many truly healthy changes to count. However, that same ironic scattered focus remains.

LIke here I am, again up till all hours, writing a story for you. In the morning. I will be glad to serve amongst my family of congregates at Westminster Presbyterian Church, yet my bible may stay closed again this week like the last several months have been.

I’ll probably drag tiredly through the rest of my one day “off” of the week. I could easily sleep away the afternoon and almost miss the evening before I head back for more work late tomorrow night.

I’ll enjoy little family moments in the day for sure. I might be so appreciative as I notice my wife nursing our infant daughter, and then I might snap sharply in response to some slight comment I deem abrasive.

A man of contrasts I remain. This moment finds my new version of that same ol’ story. Maybe ten years from now, I will look back and notice my stupidity that I’m blind to today.

Until next week my friends, pedal hard, party harder… until you realize that prayer works so much better than either of those. May God Bless Your Journey.


Aaron Nichols



One thought on “Unproductive Exercise: A New Trend!

  1. I doubt you are looking for compliments but I think you look great.
    I’ve spent my entire life wanting to be thinner.
    When I was thiner it was at the expense of addictive diet pills which lead to valim which was another addictive drug. That wasn’t a fun ride for several years!!
    Now in my old age I still want to be thinner but will instead try to remember the important things. I too haven’t opened my bible this week. Thinks for the reminder.
    LOVE you guys and LOVE who you are!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *